Letting loose: Malaysia’s Sudirman Cup squad having fun at the beach in Gold Coast yesterday.
PETALING JAYA: Sun, sea, sand and fun!
That was how the national Sudirman Cup squad spent their first day in Gold Coast, Australia.
The Malaysian team, who left for Australia on Wednesday, are preparing for the world mixed team tournament, which begins on Sunday.
The team comprise world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin (men’s singles); Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (men’s doubles); Goh Jin Wei, Soniia Cheah (women’s singles); Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei, Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean (women’s doubles); and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing, Chan Peng Soon and Cheah Yee See (mixed doubles).
National singles coach Tey Seu Bock said that the team have settled in well.
“It’s our first day here and we took it easy today (yesterday). We’ve not had permission to use the hall ... so, we spent the day at the beach just in front of our hotel,” said Seu Bock.
“It’s really nice here. We have a good accommodation and, so far, our team’s preparations and spirits are high.”
The heat will rise when Malaysia open their Group C campaign against Germany on Tuesday. Japan are the other team in the group.
The top two teams will advance to the quarter-finals, where a fresh draw will be conducted.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have set a semi-final target while Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has challenged them to go for the title.
Malaysia’s best achievement is a semi-final finish in 2009 in Guangzhou, China. Then, they lost 3-0 to host China.
Two years ago, Malaysia lost 3-1 to South Korea in the quarter-finals. China have won the Sudirman Cup a record 10 times since its inception in 1989.